Lois M. Collins of the Deseret Morning News has reported on the E. coli increase in Utah. From the article:
Enterohemorrhagic E. coli outbreaks linked to pre-washed or ready-to eat spinach or lettuce, sold under various brand names, are nothing new, attorney William Marler, of Seattle’s Marler Clark LLP, told the Deseret Morning News.
Marler, who has sued on behalf of consumers sickened by E. coli contamination, cited examples: October 2003, when 13 California retirement center residents got sick and two died after eating E. coli-contaminated spinach; or September 2003 when nearly 40 patrons of a California restaurant chain got sick after eating salads made with pre-bagged lettuce; or July 2002, when more than 50 young women got sick at a dance camp after eating pre-washed lettuce. Several of them were hospitalized, and one suffered permanent kidney damage.
Last September, health authorities investigating pre-washed lettuce as a source of E. coli outbreaks in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Oregon estimated as many as 244,866 bags of potentially contaminated lettuce made it to store shelves, Marler said. Many people were critically injured.